hours after an Italian victory over France in the 2006
World Cup, Tim Johnson, 32 year-old machinist and casual soccer/football/checkered-ball-romp
fan, made what observers call a "stingingly satirical"
and "bitingly brilliant" joke concerning the French
Johnson, reiterating the joke at a press conference
called to manage the media hype and attention he has received
since making the statement, says it came to him "like a
stroke of smartness".
"I was talking to my one buddy [Bill] Marowitz
who was over for a cookout, and he mentioned that the World
Cup was on earlier, and that France lost," Johnson recalled.
"Suddenly, I knew I had the perfect thing to say -- 'Sounds
like France surrendered!'"
Marowitz, stunned at the comedic brilliance,
laughed long and hard, and proceeded to call other attendees
of the cookout over.
"I told them, 'You guys have to hear what
Tim just said, oh my God,'" said Marowitz. "Something
like that, you don't come across it too often. It's something
you would've never thought of in a million years, but suddenly
somebody comes along and bam! It's an Einstein moment."
For the benefit of those who had trouble initially
understanding what he called a "multi-leveled layer cake
of a joke", Johnson explained it in detail at the press
"See, France surrendered that one time
in a war, or something," he said. "I'm not too clear
on the details, but trust me: they surrendered. And they always
surrender. So it's no surprise they surrendered the World Cup!"
Now, the joke has landed Johnson on a new career
path, with a sitcom set to appear on Fox this Fall entitled,
"Each episode, I'll work in a new, hilarious
way to talk about how France surrenders at something,"
Johnson revealed. "For example, a French UPS guy would
come over to deliver something for me, and I would say, 'Do
I need to sign for this?' and he'd say, 'Nah, don't worry about
it,' and I'd say, 'I know...you're surrendering!'"
all good satire, part of what makes Johnson's joke so side-splittingly
funny is that it makes a valid comment on a serious issue, according
to humorologist Dr. Thad Rumplin.
"Of course, analysts were predicting a
French loss in the World Cup long before Mr. Johnson's joke
was made, since they, historically speaking, are constantly
surrendering everything and have always done so, and will always
do so forever," said Rumplin. "But the joke summed
up the situation in such an unusual, concise, clever way, you
can't help but be amazed."
Newspapers are scrambling to give the story
complete coverage in tomorrow's editions, and the TV news networks
are devoting massive amounts of airtime to covering the joke.
"We're entering hour six of our live Tim
Johnson watch, where any minute now I'm sure he'll say something
even funnier," said CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, as the monitor
behind him displayed Johnson evacuating his bowels in his bathroom.
"I love you, Tim Johnson," sobbed
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. "And I thought I'd forgotten how
to love a long time ago."
Johnson even received a Presidential congratulations
on his quick wit and satirical prowess.
"On a day when America is vaguely confused
at all of this Whirl Cup business, this here Johnson fella comes
along and puts it into terms we can all appreciate," said
President Bush, bestowing a ribbon to the blushing Johnson.
"That joke tickled me so much that I'd like to take Tim
out to lunch for a nice burger and freedom fries."
A poll indicates that most Americans believe
Johnson's joke to be the funniest ever made in the country's
history, surpassing even John Newell's 1792 zinger concerning
George Washington's hilarious powdered wig.
"It's funny, but it also makes you think.
Like, why did France even go to the World Cup if they just knew
they were going to lose?" commented one American polled.
"Probably because they surrendered when they were thinking
about it! Oh, do you think Mr. Johnson can use that one?"
"I thought France played a hell of a game,
and most likely lost from being too aggressive since the team
captain was red carded for head butting another player, but
whatever!" said another man pleasantly. "I guess I'm
off-base, because that joke is hilarious!"